Optimal Market Timing
NBER Working Paper No. 12014
We use a fully-specified neoclassical model augmented with costly external equity as a laboratory to study the relations between stock returns and equity financing decisions. Simulations show that the model can simultaneously and in many cases quantitatively reproduce: procyclical equity issuance; the negative relation between aggregate equity share and future stock market returns; long-term underperformance following equity issuance and the positive relation of its magnitude with the volume of issuance; the mean-reverting behavior in the operating performance of issuing firms; and the positive long-term stock price drift of firms distributing cash and its positive relation with book-to-market. We conclude that systematic mispricing seems unnecessary to generate the return-related evidence often interpreted as behavioral underreaction to market timing.